I've often contemplated this throughout my journey with Lyme. I remember early on evaluating my health, and knowing in my head that all God had to do was speak a word and I would be healed. That He was more than able to remove this illness from me... make me whole, complete, healthy- with one word. ONE WORD. And when He didn't (immediately)- I found myself sad, angry, hurt. Didn't He care? Didn't He want me to be well? Wasn't health His will for me? Didn't he have ONE WORD to utter on my behalf???
Thankfully, THANKFULLY, the Lyme endured. All the while I was seeking Him for health, wholeness, restoration and for His will to be done in my life (which I had decided was to heal me)... I was seeking Him for ME! For what I wanted. For what I thought I needed. I was never seeking Him for who He was... but rather for what I thought He SHOULD do for me. Thankfully, God knew the Lyme needed to continue in my body so that I would see my need to COME TO THE END OF MYSELF.
I'm embarrased to be this honest today. Had I known in the early stages- that the Lyme would definitely be a concern for at least 3 years... but possibly much longer than that- I'm fairly certain I would've turned my back to God almost entirely. Not having had a daily, intimate, relationship with the Lord, I would have felt as though I had no reason to press into Him. Having been a person that only sought God for what I wanted or thought I needed I would have been without cause to seek Him because all I wanted initially was for the Lyme to be taken from me. I most definitely did not understand the value of a physical illness in my life then. I 'm almost certain I viewed it much more as His wrath and not at all the demonstration of the faithfulness of God that it is.
(Sidenote- I have to tell you that in the time that I've been writing this I've listened to my blog randomly play Praise You in this Storm, Who Am I, Gratitude, Rescue and Knees to the Earth... if they don't aptly describe exactly what I am trying to say in this blog I don't know what does....)
I know people say that God's will for us is health and healing. That by His stripes we are healed. That He took to the cross our sickness and infirmaties... I have heard in my few years ince the Lyme that I need to believe for my healing, go before God with unconfessed sin, obey my parents, and even that if I die from this disease it is because I lacked faith. There are a pleothra of differences even among Christians regarding Healing, God's will, Confession etc. What I had to do was examine what I even believed about any and all of it. I had to make my faith- MINE. I needed to be accountable for what I believed and not what others thought I should believe. And I am grateful. Because my choice to press into God and learn about Him and ultimately these things... initiated a path of growth for me. Gave the Lord an opportunity to work in my heart. (And boy did it- and does it still- need work)
What I know- God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday today and forever. And if I believe that scripture ,I know that He is trustworthy despite my circumstances. And that I can trust Him and His will for my life. I can relinquish what little control I have or think I need over my life and circumstances because I know His will for me is much better than anything I can come up with on what limited wisdom I have. I know that most if not all battles I face- insecurities, regrets, fears, relational issues, parenting problems, etc. stem out of the fact that I haven't come to the end of myself. That were I to be solely looking to Jesus, doing all things as if unto God and not unto man... were I not to esteem myself greater than others or God... that most (if not all) of these situations would not be. That every single thing begins with a CHOICE. A choice to come to the end of myself, the choice to believe God is who He says He is, the choice to trust Him despite all other things, the choice to respond in obedience to Him when He asks something of me... even when it causes discomfort, the CHOICE TO KEEP MAKING CHOICES for Him. (Isn't God amazing?) I know that as I know Him, He makes Himself known to me and we become likeminded. I know that knowing His will for me means that I will begin to pray for the things that He already desires for me and so more of prayers will be met with a Yes and Amen. And I know that what I believe about God's will for everyone regarding physical health is that... well- I don't believe that His will for everyone is for physical health. Personally- and I do not reference my experience as biblical or theological backing- I have felt for a long while now that this Lyme has been nothing short of a blessing. That before the Lyme, I had accepted Christ and knew of Salvation... but that, and maybe a few sincere feel-good bits of Godly knowledge, were all I had going for me. I had no concept of Sanctification or a living relationship with my Lord. And yet, through the Lyme, as I sought God for my healing (as everyone told me I needed to) I found the HEALER. I received a gift far more priceless than physical restoration... HIS PRESENCE. And He began to work in my heart and life. I entered a right relationship with Him- something I don't think I had ever really done before. I found the greatest of all gifts outside of (and because of) His son's death was that I was able to commune with Him... be found in Him. That He is more than a God. He is a friend. And His presence outweighs anything He could ever give and/or do for me. His presence is comfort, peace, strength, joy, love. And as I spent time in Him, as I saw Him... face to face- He did indeed heal me. No- not physically. But in areas much more important. He made me whole. Spiritually, emotionally... He gave me purpose. I found myself in Him. I no longer questioned... no longer longed for... no longer suffered regrets. My eyes became fixed. Did I need physical healing initially as I sought Him for? Or did I need something greater?
And then it became clear to be biblically- that God's will is not that all be physically healed. Matter of fact, in the bible, there were times when His children were physically well UNTIL they encountered Him and were left with a weakness, a permanant reminder, of how God got through to each of them in an area of their stubbornness.. Moses for example was a powerful speaker (Acts 7.22) and yet, after going his own way an encounter with God left him with a stutter. How about Jacob? He encountered God and was left with a limp. And Paul- well this is what he said in 2 Cor. 12 (as translated in The Message. )
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.
My Lyme is my handicap. At least for now. Should God will it away... so be it. But today, in this moment, it is a weakess that God uses to remind me of His faithfulness. It is not something that remains because my healing has yet to manifest. It is not something that remains because I lack in faith. It is not something that remains because I have yet to do my part in receiving a healing from the Lord. WERE I OR ANYONE TO BELIEVE ANY OF THESE SCENARIOS TO BE TRUTH we would in essence be esteeming ourselves above God... stating that God is not the same yesterday, today and forever and that the physical limitations found in the lives of Moses, Jacob and Paul were unGodly... inappropriate for them and certainly unwarranted for us.
There was a reason for my writing all of this today. (Believe me when I say this "book" was not my intention) Today is my husband's 33rd birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR! (I'll have to tell him in person as he doesn't read this blog... ever) I started thinking this morning-had his parents known initially that their marriage would end in divorce and that they would both remarry... would they have opted against having children? (Therefore drastically impacting life as I know it? ) Furthermore- would my mother, had she known my dad wouldn't stick around, have become pregnant with me? Would they, in their limited wisdom at the time, have opted not to have children thinking that divorce/ or no marriage at all would be difficult on the kids and often causes issues for even the most well adjusted of families?
I think as parents, when faced with knowing something may potentially impact our children negatively... be it physically, emotionally, etc... we do whatever we can to spare them from the circumstance. We prevent what we are able to prevent for the sake of their wellbeing.
I wonder... would Paul's parents, or my mom... having known that the family as they knew it would change drastically... have stepped in and altered the will of the Lord in order to prevent potential, looming emotional issues for their children?
We'll never know. But thankfully, because we don't know of things to come until it's God's will for us to know, because God's will ultimately reigns, because He watches over each and every one of us and only allows others to impact His will for us in as much as He sees fit.... My In-Laws added not just Paul to their family but two of his sisters as well... and my mother had me. And for that... especially today... I couldn't be more grateful.
HAPPY 33rd BIRTHDAY PAUL.
And thank you Paul and Karen and Mom... my life wouldn't be the same without the choices you made.
And well.. thank you God - for your will, your love, and your hand in our lives.